How to Measure a Door for Replacement in 5 easy steps

Unfortunately most people assume that in order to get the right door measurements, one need to only measure the height, width and door thickness. That could not be far from the truth! In case you wish to replace the door in your home then you will need a lot more than the height and width of the door if you wish to end up with the perfect fit! There are simple steps you can follow in finding the right door for your home.  We shall tackle five simple steps you can utilize in measuring a door for replacement.

Step 1: In case you trust your drawing capability then you can simply sketch the door. Alternatively, if you don’t trust your drawing skills then you can make use of a camera to take a picture of the door and then you can print it out. The picture or diagram needs to encompass the handle/knob of the door as well as the hinges so that it will be easy to identify which way the door will hang.

Step 2: It is important to know which direction the door will be opening towards. For example, a hallway door needs to open to the inside not outside else you run the risk of hitting someone in the hallway with the door as it opens! You need to understand the direction in which the door will be swinging. Will it be swinging out or in? In addition, you need to understand whether or not the door will be left-handed or right-handed; this way, you don’t purchase a door that is right-handed and yet you should have gotten one which is left-handed!

Step 3: With the help of a printed diagram, you can then proceed to note down the appropriate measurement of the door. This is where you will need to note down the door’s height, width, thickness, or edge of the door. At this point, you need to only focus on the width, height, thickness or edge of the door and do away with other features such as the door sweep or weather stripping. At this point, it is important that you are exact in the measurements that you take and write down. Ideally, you can round up the measurements to the nearest inch to be on the safe side.

Step 4:  In step 4, you need to take a look at the door jamb and measure its width. Forget about any of the trim materials as you measure because those are not essential at this point. In order to get the right measurements, you will have to face the jamb and proceed to take measurements from the back of the interior trim piece to the back of the exterior trim piece.

Step 5: In step 5, you will have to measure the height and width of the framed door space. At this point, you have to do away with any trim material measurements if you wish to arrive at the right door replacement for your home.

The above are the five easy steps to measuring a door for replacement. You may have noticed certain terms such as a ‘door jamb’, ‘trim’ or ‘weather stripping’. Such are common door terms that are used in the industry. As such, it is best to have some idea of what is being talked about.

Door Terminology

Let’s have a look at some of the door vocabulary out there to help you get a better understanding of what is being talked about.

Door Swing Direction: What is meant by door swing direction is the direction in which the door will swing. A door can either swing to the left or to the right. When you know which direction the door will swing, you will know where to place the door hinges. You will also know where the door knob should go. To get a clear idea of what is being talked about, take a look at any given know. Check out where the hinges are placed and you will know whether the door swings to the left or right. For example, in case the hinges are on the right, then what you have is a right-hand door.

Jamb: Wood framework that encompasses the doorway is what is known as the jam. The jamb doesn’t however include the trim/casing of the door. As such, a door jamb is simply the framework in which the door is positioned.

Sweep/ Weather Stripping: When you look at the bottom of the door, you may notice a rubber/ metal plate that has been adhered to it. This is what is known as sweep/weather stripping. The rubber/metal plate can also be adhered to the door edge in order to help prevent air leaks as well as debris from entering through what would have otherwise been an opening to permit such vices.

Trim/Moulding/ Casing:  The trim or casing is what hides the point where the jamb meets the surface material. As such, it is more of a decorative piece and should never be incorporated in a door replacement measurement.

  1. You said that it is important to know which way the door will open. Maybe I should ask a professional to help me when I am getting a door replace so that I know it is being done correctly. With help, I might also be able to choose a different style of door that I like, also.

  2. I don’t know why I just read all of those steps, I know that I won’t be able to perform it on my own. I’ve just been looking into door frame replacements, because ours currently needs to be replaced. My son and his friends were playing last week, and they both ran into the door. Luckily, it didn’t break down, but it did create a giant crack.

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